The Boston Red Sox closed out a three-game weekend series on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals.
The Sox entered the series with a record of 42-27. Kansas City, meanwhile, came into Friday at 30-37 after a rough start to June.
While the Sox did possess the more respectable record, the Royals proved that numbers do not matter on the field. Boston (unfortunately) learned the hard way that Kansas City would be no pushover and that any team on any given day can represent a challenge.
With that said, here is how it all went down.
Game 1: Red Sox 3, Royals 5
The Red Sox lost their first duel against the Royals by a score of 5-3.
Boston got on top early on thanks to an Alex Verdugo single to the outfield that cashed in Danny Santana.
That lead would not last very long, though. Kansas City struck back thanks to a three-run shot by Adalberto Mondesi in the bottom of the third. Mondesi’s home run went a whopping 464 feet, giving him a total of nine RBI on the season in the process.
The Red Sox did keep the game close thanks to an RBI single by J.D. Martinez in the fifth. As well, a solo home run by Rafael Devers in the eighth. The runs would prove to be too little too late. Boston stranded eight runners and just could not come up in the most crucial moments of the game.
Nick Pivetta (6-3) allowed three runs and six hits across five innings.
Kris Bubic (2-2) earned the win despite leaving the game in the middle of the top of the third. Bubic was pulled early after allowing two runs and five hits.
Game 2: Red Sox 7, Royals 1
The second matchup proved completely different from that of the first. Boston dominated from the early stages of the game on Saturday thanks to a hitting rotation powered by Bobby Dalbec. The 25-year-old first baseman tallied three hits (including a home run and triple) and three RBI in his big performance.
Danny Santana, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez also got in on the fun with RBI’s of their own. Bogaerts hit a single in the first, Santana a ground-out in the fifth, and Martinez with a two-run homer in the fifth as well.
Martin Perez (5-4) was credited with the W for the Sox after giving up only one run and three hits and five innings. His efforts were backed up by relievers Garrett Whitlock, Hirokazu Sawamura, and Brandon Workman, who all combined to let up zero runs across the final four innings.
On the Kansas City side of things, Brad Keller (6-7) dropped to below .500 with his third consecutive loss in a start. Keller allowed five runs, five hits, and three walks throughout five innings.
Game 3: Red Sox 3, Royals 7
It seems as if the Royals managed to return the favor to the Sox on Father’s Day.
Kansas City won their first series against Boston since 2017 thanks to a sloppy mid-game stretch by the Red Sox. Boston did take the lead early, but like Friday, that advantage did not last very long.
The Royals outplayed Boston both offensively and defensively. Michael A. Taylor batted in the first run for KC after Bobby Dalbec could not field his grounder in the second. Salvador Perez continued the scoring in the third with his RBI single.
However, the biggest hit of the day came from Jarrod Dyson. Dyson broke the tie in the third with a two-run double to make the score 4-2. The hit would qualify as the game-winner, as Boston only earned one more run in the game off of a Rafael Devers homer in the eighth. When it was all said and done, the Red Sox stranded a total of 10 runners throughout the game.
Nathan Eovaldi (7-4) dropped his second consecutive start, allowing four runs and seven hits in four innings.
Mike Minor (6-4) earned the W for the Royals after allowing only two runs and nine hits across nearly seven innings.
Overall, the series had more downs than it did ups. The Red Sox certainly played well on Saturday, but an alarming performance both offensively and defensively on Sunday should qualify as a cause for concern.
We are not just saying that for giggles, but rather because this week’s upcoming opponents consist of the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
Now, everyone knows that the Rays and Yankees are destined to give the Sox some competition in any given series. However, what makes these games stand out is the fact that the Sox, Rays, and Yankees all sit within five games of each other at the top of the AL East.
So, while these teams will meet again later on in the season, the implications from this week’s games will be huge. The Sox have the chance at establishing a firm grip on the division, but they could also run into a devastating mid-season slump.
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